Spears Naked, Hilton Nude, Lohan Panty-less Share Pulitzer Prize For Saving Journalism’ by Chris Hanson

Yes, yes, this article is a spoof. But really, it raises a valid point. Frequently we’re told that the stories that get the most hits online are the salacious, celebrity stories. And even more frequently, it’s a celebrity or sport star splashed across the front page of the newspaper each morning. But what is it that makes celebrities so fascinating and should we, as media makers, let them determine the news agenda?

When the future of journalism depends on the financial success of news organisations, it is tempting to allow celebrity news to dominate in order to attract readers. But as each generation pays less and less attention to real news, we are in danger of forgetting what’s important.

Hopefully the situation will never deteriorate to the levels depicted in this article. But there has been a serious decline in public interest for the news. It is important to interest young people in the news, not just celebrity gossip, as young people are the least likely to access some form of news on a daily basis. Of course, we could just let public opinion dictate the news. In which case, celebrities better prepare their Pulitzer speeches.

Kelly Theobald is an Honours student at La Trobe University. She is also co-editor of upstart.

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